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  • WJ King

MARK TWAIN

I’m a reader. The descriptor ‘voracious’ doesn’t apply because like many things I do, I do it in spurts. Less in the summer and maybe for a while, non-stop in the winter. Being retired leaves me wiggle room. I love wiggle room. I set aside two to three months a year for what I call my ‘Hemingway Hiatus’ at which time I devote every effort to relaxation, television and drinking beer. In the summertime I may venture to the side yard and enjoy my hammock. During this time off of sorts, I may take a few notes or save news items, articles or ideas on my I-phone for my writing at a later time. I have a blog at wjkingstories.com and I try to post flash fiction once a week. It averages about 500 words, no financial reward involved as there’s a very good reason it’s free. This hobby will crank someone’s On switch occasionally and that's why I enjoy it.


I was not always a reader and the biographies of world champion boxer Joe Lewis and baseball legends Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, provided book reports for several years of English class. My turning point was in tenth or eleventh grade in high school when I was sentenced to three days of disciplinary detention. Seated next to the study hall monitor Mrs. Boehm in the library I was in a quandary. Nothing to study because I wasn’t familiar with the academic abstraction and under Mrs Boehm’s watchful eye it was difficult to annoy girls. To the untrained eye, this might be seen as a jail sentence without an opportunity for redemption. That however was not to be the case.


I don’t recall how I came upon the particular book but I read it for three days, completing the 800+ pages of “Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court.” I became a fan of Mark Twain and have remained one until now. I should explain, I am still privately an admirer of the man and his writing but being a published author, I must face the reality he is a rival, posthumously perhaps but a nemesis nonetheless. Published? I am not one to put on airs but my flash fiction has been featured in the local paper several times.


Alas, I am before you now as a reader and a writer. Had I any perseverance at all, I would be a magnificent writer. Had I at least a respectable degree of talent, I would be a household name and playing poker with James Patterson and Richard Castle. But I have the time until I don’t, to improve my skill set as an author and climb to the top, hopefully trodding upon the fame of Mark what’s his name in the process.


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